After scuba diving, Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV (aka Blackman Francis or Frank Black) from the band the Pixies was inspired to write, “With your feet on the air and your head on the ground. Try this trick and spin it. Yeah. Your head’ll collapse, but there’s nothing in it. And then you’ll ask yourself: Where is my mind?”
He’s not literally looking for his mind. One doesn’t lose one’s mind like one loses one’s keys (see post: A New Way of Looking).
While he was scuba diving Black probably did lose his mind, not to madness, but to a beautiful feeling when there’s nothing in it but the beauty of being in the beauty of what’s all around. When inner talk runs between wanting and not-wanting, and liking and disliking is stopped—particularly in a natural setting—we can feel aware of beauty in the outside world and enjoy it like nothing else.
Stilling the inner monologue has been talked about by artists, poets, artisans and all those who lose themselves in creating, by athletes who lose themselves in playing, by mothers, fathers, lovers and friends who lose themselves in loving, by meditators who lose themselves in breathing, by comrades in camaraderie, by martial artists in the zone, by co-workers and soldiers, by mystics and bakers – by anyone who suddenly feels aware of the world with a shock of boundless love and the enjoyment of being.
If your mind is always busy, angry, depressed or confused, if you are always trying to achieve goals and better health, you won’t enjoy living because you are always somewhere else. You’re living for for a future perfection that never comes. If life doesn’t feel quite right, it never will. Life is never quite right because it cannot be what you like. It’s only when you allow yourself to relax that you relax and in so doing, enjoy life in its unfolding.
There may be future goals, hazards, struggles and sorrows but each seeker of happiness should know that we don’t want happiness later. We want it now. Happiness isn’t at the top of the hill.
We want a path to happiness right now but we only find good reason to be satisfied on that path by being satisfied. Feel satisfied and you are. That’s it. Tell yourself and you will listen. It’s an unconscious thing. You don’t love because, as in, “for some reason.” You love because you do.
When thoughts of self-gain subside one’s mind is extended from brain and body to world all around. Ego-brain and ego-mouth are Trumped by love and forced to be quiet. Everyone is just another you. It’s a merging. Scientists and mystics call this an altered states of consciousness. You can see it happen in brain scans.
The Pixies 1988 version of “Where is my mind?” is in the movie Fight Club. Other versions of the song include Maxence Cyrin’s (set to scenes from The Mysterious Lady, a silent film from 1928 starring Greta Garbo), the band Placebo‘s and Sunday Girl’s version in the show Mr. Robot.
It’s a song that gets around.
Enjoyment can be conscious – as in, you consciously choose to read this – or unconscious – as in, you feel something without knowing why.
Feelings are real.
Most people think their mind is in their brain. Some say that “the mind is a function of the brain” in the same way that seeing is a function of eyes and hearing is a function of ears (The Automatic Mind). Others say the mind is your personality, but personality is in the eye of a third-person and mind is a first-person thing.
The mind is what it feels like to be you. When that mind—the feeling of being you—is blown away, “you,” as in your individual feeling of consciousness receives sensory information from the environment around you, you are shifted from a self-perception to utter contentment and a good solid floating feeling.
Float on that dandelion seed of imagination and enjoy the sensation.
In the British Journal of Psychiatry Susan Greenfield (2002) wrote, “Now consider ‘losing the mind’ or ‘blowing the mind’. Because we are still conscious when these often much-sought-after events occur, I would suggest that it is wrong to conflate ‘mind’ with ‘consciousness’. Just think a little more about being ‘out of your mind’. In such situations, the individual no longer is accessing personalised cognitive perspectives, the world no longer has a personalised meaning and instead one is the passive recipient of incoming sensory information” (Mind, Brain and Consciousness).
You don’t need a rave to enjoy. You don’t need anything. When mental chatter about wanting and not-wanting are silent, you become enjoyment itself. You shift to lamp mode. You glow.
When you enjoy, you become as a poet.
And what is a poet? A poet is a person speaking to people. A poet adopts the very language of people. All good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerfully good feelings (adapted from Wordsworth’s Preface to Lyrical Ballads).
Medicine for an unhappy mind is not just sensory awareness of outward beauty, but in states of feeling, and of thought coloured by feeling, under the excitement of beauty.
With practice of character, self-awareness and attention to your senses in your surroundings, a sense of beauty and love – a fantastically happy feeling – can happen anywhere, any time. Even right now. Why not?
You’re here aren’t you?